Americans are fleeing high-tax cities with soaring living costs for cheaper, sunnier, boomtowns

Flight from blue states to red: Americans are waving goodbye to high-tax cities where living costs are pricing them out to move to cheaper, pro-business boomtowns in the South and West
Americans are ‘voting with their feet’ and waving goodbye to eye-watering taxes, high living costs and bad job prospects in Democrat-leaning areas for better deals in red states, experts told

Recent data from the US Census Bureau show how such states as New York, Illinois, and Hawaii saw their populations shrink between 2021 and 2022, while Florida, Texas, Montana, and South Dakota saw big population gains.

A similar pattern plays out at the county level. Arizona’s Maricopa County was the fastest-growing in the US, adding 56,831 residents in 2022, a gain of 1.3 percent against 2021.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles County, California, posted a loss of 90,704 people.

Mark Perry, an economist at the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank, said the overall population drift was from Democrat-run states to mostly Republican-administered boomtowns in the South and West of the country.

‘Americans are moving from blue states that are more economically stagnant, fiscally unhealthy states with higher tax burdens and unfriendly business climates with higher energy and housing costs and fewer economic and job opportunities,’ Perry said.

They’re opting for ‘fiscally sound red states that are more economically vibrant, dynamic and business-friendly, with lower tax and regulatory burdens, lower energy, and housing costs and more economic and job opportunities.’

The five counties which lost the most residents are all located in high-tax states, namely California, Illinois, and New York. They have also been wracked by homelessness, drug taking and high rents and living costs.

California is the epicenter of America’s homelessness crisis. About a third of the entire US homeless population — 171,521 people — is in California, and Los Angeles hosts around 65,000 of them.

By contrast, counties experiencing the largest influx of people were in Arizona, Texas, and Florida, where taxes are significantly lower. The destination areas typically have more affordable housing and fewer problems like crime and vagrancy.

According to the Tax Foundation, a nonprofit policy group, Florida, Texas, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Nevada, are especially attractive to arrivals because they do not levy taxes on workers’ wages.

At the other end, California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York, and Oregon, are losing people because of their double-digit income tax rates, which wage earners have to pay on top of their federal and local taxes.

People also move around to overcome rising living costs — and the biggest expense for most people is rent.

According to RentCafe, an apartment listing service, the most affordable states in the US are Oklahoma, where the average renter spends $957 per month, Arkansas ($987 per month) and North Dakota ($1,011 per month).

America’s most expensive states to rent an apartment are Massachusetts ($2,632 per month), New York ($2,552 per month) and California ($2,506 per month) – states that are seeing population declines.

Some Americans relocate for political reasons.

Republican-run states tend to be more socially conservative, which appeals to people who share those values, and want to live in an area that restricts abortions and makes it easier to own firearms.

America’s internal migration trends could affect the outcome of future elections. Electoral boundaries are continually being redrawn as populations change.

Texas, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon gained Electoral College votes as a result of the 2020 Census.

Meanwhile, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia lost voting clout.

Some of America’s fastest-growing counties are in Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico.

Newcomers to those areas may appreciate the warmer climes, but may not realize they’ve moved to areas experiencing drought, dwindling water supplies and other effects of climate change.

Population shifts are driven by migration, both within the US and due to arrivals from overseas. It also depends on how many babies are being born, how many people die, and how long they live.

William Frey, a population expert at the Brookings Institution, a Washington DC-based think tank, said the flight from big cities that began at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic could be starting to reverse.

Philadelphia, St Louis and Pittsburgh continue to see their population shrink, Frey told

‘But in many of the large metros that suffered great declines — especially Manhattan and San Francisco — the new data indicate that the previous year’s sharp declines in the prime pandemic year were a blip,’ he added.

When the latest figures were released at the end of last month, the US Census Bureau noted how counties that are home to big colleges and universities which hollowed out in the pandemic were coming back to life.

Whitman County, in southeastern Washington, which is home to Washington State University, saw its population plummet by 9.6 percent at between 2020 and 2021 at the start of the pandemic.

Last year, however, it rebounded with a 10.1 percent population bump as students returned to the campus, which dominates the city of Pullman.

Massachusetts, a high-tax Democrat-led state that has lost people in recent years, could face a ‘brain drain’ in the coming years as educated workers flee the state’s high living costs and progressive politics, researchers found.

A University of Massachusetts Amherst poll this month found that four in 10 Massachusetts residents had considered relocating from the state this past year, and more than half of its Republican-voting residents felt that way.

‘Massachusetts residents continue to contemplate moving from the state, with the top concern the high cost of living,’ said political science professor Ray La Raja, a co-director of the poll.

‘Moreover, it is younger people and the more educated who are more likely to think of leaving the state, groups that the state cannot afford to lose for its future.’

* Article From: The Daily Mail